On Sunday, March 19, Paramount’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will end its celebrated run. Fans of the Stephen Sondheim masterpiece bring a critical eye in anticipation of it and have been roused to high praise for it, so gratifying! Many more, not knowing it at all, are equally elated to discover its grotesque beauty, gorgeous score and the superb performance of this cast. For me, even more gratifying! This celebrates theatre as an adventure. And it celebrates the very audiences who venture out to take this musical thrill ride! It plays to the best and worst in us, our species, our human being. For we can be nothing else but human; fragile and fierce. The story is like a great blood sport, terrifying and funny, poignant and loving, vengeful and self-destructive. We can all kind of see ourselves up there. How we all are a little mad. It glorifies the noblest and the murderous and yet therein, we see its power. The power we have to choose. Love? Or hate? 

The Roman soldiers and the mob in Jesus Christ Superstar play out their own brutal blood lust toward Jesus. While beyond the cruelty of his being beaten and mocked, we behold the agony of his being betrayed and denied as The Son of God. We are all God’s children and yet among ourselves we beat and mock and betray and deny the very purpose of Christ’s birth; that we are to love each other, sisters and brothers. The greatest story ever told​, indeed. 

My hope in Paramount’s production of JCS, is that through it we may pay renewed attention to the purpose of Christ’s message magnificently voiced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and our all African-American cast. Oh yes, there has been the slightest bit of push back so far (and more to come, we shall see, which speaks to the very reason and purpose for its conception), and to those I ask this, dear reader: Do you really think in your heart Jesus would mind? Are we all not created in God’s image? Whether you are a person of faith or not, is it possible that “the miracle on Galena Boulevard” could be a catalyst for reflection on the miracle of love born within each of us? Let’s hear what this production and our director, Ron Kellum, has to say. Let’s continue to get on board with this adventure that is The Theatre!

Love & thanks,